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How to straighen square wire

I am working on a project that uses square wire. The wire comes in
coils and is quite hard to get flat and straight on all four sides
(say 4-6 inch pieces). Does anyone have any tricks for this?


Dan, I have straightened miles of square wire with a rawhide mallet
on the flat polished face of my anvil. It is easier if you order it
dead soft from your metal supplier.

David Luck

I’ve always put one end of the wire in a strong bench vise, grabbed
the other end with drawing pliers and given it a quick strong jerk.
The wire becomes straight and work hardened. You will have to anneal
the wire afterwords… --Vicki Embrey

Hi, Dan- If the wire is of a fairly narrow guage (20 guage or
smaller,) I often straighten it by grabbing each end in a pair of
pliers and pulling in opposite directions, stretching the wire. I can
usually feel the wire “give” slightly when it stretches. This
work-hardens the wire and makes it perfectly straight at the same

Lee Einer

a couple of tricks…use your vice to hold one end (or even your
fingers…) and pull the other end another trick is a
variation…run the wire between two fingers, making sure that your
fingernails are in constant contact with the wire…sliding it back
and forth warms up the metal a bit, making it easier to straighten
it out by hand…hope this helps? erhard.

Dan, You can anneal the wire length you need, then secure one end to a
vise and firmly but squarely pull the other end with a hand vise,
plier or anything that will hold it securely. This process will
’stretch’ the wire straight. Careful not to pull too hard, thus
thinning it out.

Dan Biery
’The early bird may get the worm,
but the second mouse always gets the bait’

first anneal the wire then take a lenth of the wire put one end into
a table vise or secure in some way. then grab the other end with a
pair of draw tongs , vise grips or plain plyers (something with a
"tooth") . get a strong grip on the tongs. go forward to give the
wire some slack then sharply snap your arm away from vise drawing the
wire tight . with a little practice this will straighten your wire.

Talk to you later Dave Otto

Have you tried just pulling it ? ie clamp one end in a vice and grip
the other in a pair of draw tongs and lean out - this works fine for
me with sterling silver wire - one of those occasions when being 240
pounds helps!. You can feel the wire ‘give’ and it is then nice and
straight but hardened - just cut and anneal if you need to. Andy
Parker, Agate House Lapidary Ulverston, Cumbria, England
@Andy_Parker Tel: 01229 584023

Hi Dan, I have a trick that I have used for straightening all types
of coiled product; round, square, half round, triangl,etc. Take a
section of 4 feet or less, clamp one end in a strong bench vise, clamp
the other end with a pair of Vise-Grip pliers and give it a tug. Be
careful not to let it bend after the tug. Have a pair of cutters handy
to clip at the bench vise end. This method can shrink the cross
section of your metal a little. John, J.A.Henkel Co.,Inc.,
Moldmaking Casting Finishing

Hi Dan, I once had to straighten out square wire and the only thing I
could do was take it to an anvil and hammer it straight. And if there
was a twist in it, I put one end in a vice and then carefully twist it

Due to a lot of hammering, I did have to anneal the wire because of
the work hardening.

But pretty much that’s all I did and in the end I had straight wire.
Just watch that you don’t marr the wire from the hammering. If you’re
worried about that. put the wire inside a soft cloth.


Hi Dan,

I am working on a project that uses square wire. The wire comes in
coils and is quite hard to get flat and straight on all four sides
(say 4-6 inch pieces). 

One way that I’ve had success with is as follows:

1. Clamp 1 end of the 4-6inch piece in a vise.
2. Grasp the other end in a pliers ( I use a parallel jaw pliers).
3. Pull the wire perpendicular to the vise. This usually straightens it. 
Sometimes a 2nd pull is necessary.

If the wire is twisted as well as not straight, straighten the wire
1st, then untwist it.


dan - if you averse to the idea of clamping one end of the kinky wire
to a tree & the other to your rear bumper & s-l-o-w-l-y backing out
of your driveway, then either secure one end of the entire roll, or
cut off what you need for the current project, to a screwed down vice
& the other end in visegrips. hold onto the visegrips & s-l-o-w-l-y
back up until the wire won’t give anymore. if you lack a strong
secure vice then use 2 visegrips & wedge one pair between 2
somethings that will not come loose - unless you have complete dental
coverage DO NOT try sticking it between you feet & jerking it as hard
as you can! don’t ask - i promised to never divulge the victim’s


  I am working on a project that uses square wire. The wire comes
in coils and is quite hard to get flat and straight on all four
sides (say 4-6 inch pieces). Does anyone have any tricks for this? 

Put one end of a longish section of wire into a vice. Grab the other
end firmly with pliers and stretch the wire out (making sure the sides
are not twisted) using all of your weight. At a certain point you
will feel the wire give, as if it has relaxed. Let go and the wire
should be perfectly straight and you can then cut it into the smaller
pieces you need. I learned this trick in a workshop with Andy


Dan, Place one end of the wire (annealed, whether from the factory or
at your bench) in the jaws of a sturdy vise and grab the free end
(opposite the vise) w/ a pair of pliers, draw tongs etc. and pull
straight out, w/out twisting. You should feel the wire “give” and,
when you let go, it should stand straight out from the vise, although
it will sag from its own weight.

Bear in mind that the wire will be a wee bit smaller in cross
section, a bit longer in length and a tiny bit harder than when you
started as result of the stretching. Just give a firm, but not too
heavy, steady pull on the wire and stop when you feel that “give”. If
you want it even smaller, reanneal and pull again. Be sure that your
annealing is even and that there are no hard spots along the wire’s
length. If you can live w/ the small amount of cross sectional
reduction, this is a great way to get perfectly straight wire. When I
need a piece of .65 mm wire, I draw it down to about .68- .70 mm,
anneal and lightly pull it straight. The wire comes out at about

Good luck, Andy Cooperman

Order your square wire straight to begin with, or anneal it and pull
it with a vise and draw tongs.

To straighten square wire, you can use a polishing cloth, or better,
just use your fingers.

I generally use my index and middle fingers to hold the wire against
my thumb, and gently run the wire through while using a bit of
pressure. The best thing is not to try to straighten a long piece
all at once i.e. all in one go, but to start about an inch from the
end, and work your way back, straightening a little bit at a time.

Using a polishing cloth, you would do the same thing, only you won’t
end up with black marks all over your fingers ;-).

Hope this is clear!
Dianne Karg
Toronto, Ontario